Rouhani orders Foreign Ministry to follow-up Hour al-Azim wildfire case in Iraq

TEHRAN, Aug. 26 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sent a letter to Foreign Ministry, tasking the body to seriously follow the case of Hour al-Azim wildfire in Iraqi part of the wetland, said chief of Khuzestan provincial department of environment on Saturday.

The chief of Iran’s Department of Environment Isa Kalantari had requested for the help of president on the case, and Rouhani, for his turn, ordered Foreign Ministry to urgently protest to Iraqi government for the wildfire which seems to be started intentionally, added Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh.

The president also called for the help of IRGC air force to take part in the fire extinguishing operation, he told IRNA, however, didn’t specified the date of president’s order.

Lahijanzadeh went on to say that a special session has been held in Iran’s Supreme National Security Council on the issue with officials of Foreign Ministery and Department of Environment in attendance and it was decided that an Iranian delegation would soon meet with Iraqi officials to further discuss the issue more seriously.

Some 20,000 hectares of Hour al-Azim wetland in Iraq has caught fire till now, he said, adding that currently one Iranian firefighting helicopter is on the mission.

A shared wetland between Iran and Iraq, Hour al-Azim has been hit by wildfire since July 2, mainly in Iraqi part of the wetland. The thick smoke of this wildfire has caused great discomfort for those living in Khuzestan province. In Hoveyzeh county alone, 250 individuals have been hospitalized due to inhaling polluted air.

Some 2,000 hectares of the wetland in Iran was also on fire but it soon was contained by Iranian forces.

MAH/IRN83011732

News Code 137100

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